Sunday, November 15, 2009

A to Z backwards Monday..H

is for Heart....the center and core of being also for Home..
Home is where the heart is..
Home is where our stuff is..
Home can be a Castle, a Mansion,an Apartment, a Condo or a simple cottage in the suburbs.
Home is where we look forward to returning, day after day, to the security and happiness we've created between those four walls and a roof..
Home is FAMILY..children are born, reared,leave the nest to repeat the cycle of having a home of their own.
Home is where we bring our children to visit their grandparents as we return ourselves to become children relive the happiness and innocence of childhood.. if only for a brief  interlude..
There comes a time in our lives when HOME can no longer be our sanctuary, becoming a hazard to our health instead. Parents become unable to continue being the strong healthy folks we always see in our minds,instead time has taken its toll on their bodies giving frailty in place of vigor,along with dimming of vision and less than perfect hearing. Time the thief silently steals their abilities and functions, leaving behind diminished capacity for everyday living and memory. 
It is at this time of life decisions have to be made for practicality and safety, often with reversal of roles.  Adult children try to gently lead their parents by showing examples of assisted living facilities  with the hope they will see the advantages of safety, medical and appealing amenities. Some will embrace this new chapter as an  adventure of  newfound independence, while others will only balk and have to be dragged literally kicking and screaming all the way.
With one partner already having suffered not one fall but two, the final being a broken thighbone, he has not been at home since Easter. It has been hospitals, rehabilitation centers, a brief stint at home where he suffered the last fall... and with each new crisis, and each move, the "Sundown Syndrome"  has taken away a bit more of the man we knew. At times he is totally lucid, at others, yelling and screaming that he will check himself out of this hotel and go back home, and still other times where he will call in the wee hours of nightime, pleading , please, someone  come to his rescue.. he is so lonely and all alone with only the beeps of machines echoing the loneliness of our once proud Father.
It is with heavy heart that Mom has to make the decision to leave her beautiful home, the heart of her life for forty years, which has now become her prison. She lost both her freedom and independence five years ago when due to failing health, she no longer could drive. Gone then were the carefree days of retirement,luncheons, and committee meetings and church socials. She alone has suffered greatly if not the most. She who is of the generation of the man being the head of the family, In this case, it is a great man who has been supported by a loving spouse, but not from the shadows. She has had her share of  the limelight before marriage, and continued to be a partner while also being a known entity of herself. It is with sadness she has reached this point, finally agreeing to and making the decision to join her husband of  sixty two years, following the sacred vows of that union as they together, in sickness and health, go into assisted living.  It is her heartfelt emotions leading her to believe that by she herself becoming a part of the familiarity of home furnishings and mementos that she can help restore his memory as well as his health. 
So, the process begins.. the unit is selected, finances discussed and arranged, and keys are handed over.
We walk through the rooms of their current  home, knowing the transfer in thought has already taken place. She points to photos, explaining where and when each was taken. So many memories are contained within these walls, this empty shell of a former home. Lovingly, she chooses items for the "new" place, each with a history; chosen for sentimentality as well as functionality. I listen rapt as she speaks, answering questions and voicing opinions only when asked while making note on the growing list. The hours pass slowly as I follow her through the winding path of her memories . Finally we are done. She is exhausted both mentally and physically.
Over a cups of steaming tea, a meeting with the movers agents is held. In the next several  days, selected possessions will be measured and computerized 3-D renderings will finalize their placement; personal items will be boxed and crated, the movers will arrive to load her precious cargo. Unloading and final placement in the new home will occur down to the tiniest detail..clocks will be restarted, beds will be made with fresh linens, mementos back in familiar spaces. Fresh flowers will be placed on the beautifully set table. Everything in its designated place, silently awaiting  the return of this loving couple, who in this latest chapter of their lives, restores the heart into the home..only this a new address.

Please join us at Jen's Unglazed for more H words...♥


  1. Happy Monday Loui
    This certainly is a Heart felt post.
    These times are trying when the child must take the parent role. We are at the stage of 'refusing to listen to reason', with my in-laws. I hope your parents find peace and happiness in being safely together.

  2. This one made me cry. Guess it's a little too close to my heart in some ways.
    A very moving post.

  3. What a heartfelt post today Loui...very bittersweet and beautifully written.
    Take care, Suz

  4. Lou, This one made me cry... I can only imagine how hard this is on your Mom... Just leaving her gorgeous home, but then joining a husband who may or may not be different from the man she married so many years ago.

    BUT--with your help, she will do fine and make the best of it. As you said, HOME is where the heart is.... Hopefully her heart will be with your Dad.

    Hugs and Prayers,

  5. Hi Loui,
    I could only get through about half of your post right now. It's hard to read through tears. You are an amazing writer. I will come back by and read more when I'm feeling a little stronger.

    I'll be thinking of you though.

  6. To all of you who felt my compassion and love pouring into this posting.. I am essentially an mom passed away at the very young age of 52..I was a mere babe at the time..only just turned 24, my day lived another 20+ years after her..These very special folks to me whom I've been allowed the pleasure of addressing as Mom and Dad.
    love to you all who felt what I was trying to convey..

  7. Dear Lou,
    This very poignant post brought tears to my eyes as I thought about this couple and also the many other couples who will soon face similar situations. It's very sad, but it's just a fact of life. Thank goodness for nice facilities where the elderly can be cared for. Blessings and Peace!

  8. Dear Loui, Ditto what the others said. My Mom is still independent at 86 with the dream & hope of dropping dead in her hardware store...I guess it's a nice wish for her...I've decided that old age is the pits, but what can ya do?! Thanks for the lovely and poignant post. x-c

  9. Such a tender post. I hope that everything goes well with your folks, it is a difficult time, I am sure. (((hugs)))

  10. Touching post. Thank you for sharing this story. Thanks for visiting my blog. I can't believe there is someone else who ate Ritz Cracker Pie!


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where time is not measured..
linger leisurely..
sift sugary white sand between your toes..
Make and take those wonderful memories..
leaving behind..only your footprints...